Dispatch # 5

Dispatch 5 – Last Dispatch for this trip  From Station Dar es Salaam in Tanzania

Summer 2008 Fr Francis Wardega
I am at the airport, awaiting the flight that will begin my journey back to home in Michigan. The work here is finished for this trip. We heard so much, “Please come back. This was so good. Stay longer.”
Dodoma Class Picture

Dodoma Class Picture

The work finished with five days of teaching at Buigiri Bible School. The plan was that I would ride back and forth in Bp Chidawali’s Toyota Hiace minivan. The plan fell apart when the minivan fell apart. I ended up making the journey to/from the school in what is called a “dolla-dolla” a small bus. A small crowded bus with all seats and the aisle full.

My Bus

My Bus

A small crowded bus with all seats and the aisle full that often included people and chickens and ducks! Thank God cows were so big that they required two tickets! Because the law prohibits standing in the aisle, the people doing so would sit on the floor whenever we were stopped at a police checkpoint.

Classes ran much better than the minivan. There were seven full time students, one child, and one frequent drop in student. Their names were Timoth, Rhoda (and her five year old son, Nicodemus), Leticia, Aloyce, Japheth, Sospeter, Enoch, and Eliah.

Final Exam Taking

Final Exam Taking

Who were they? One person described himself as a part time priest and a part time peasant. (In Tanzania, every July 7 is a holiday called Peasants’ Day) Another person was a carpenter. Most lived in simple mud and stick huts with dirt floors, no electricity, and cooked outside over an open fire.

Buigiri School

Buigiri School

Their Anglican faith was the bright light in their life. They learned the basic beliefs and practices and teachings of the historic Anglican Christian Church. They had many misconceptions. They also learned of the ethos of ordained ministry and how that is different from that of an independent minister. Their excitement grew every day. They sensed what was happening – they were learning new things and understanding them. It was making a differencein their thinking. The class on ordained ministry was especially moving to the priests, life changing. They were eager to return to the their parishes and deaneries and pass on what they had learned.

On Sunday Aug 31, I celebrated the liturgy and preached at Christ the King Cathedral in Dodoma, with Bishop Chidawali.

Bishop Chidawali

Bishop Chidawali

Actually, the Holy Spirit celebrated. In very clear ways, the Holy Spirit affirmed the complete love of the Father for the people there, poor, hot, struggling, people of God. It was glorious. Music here was different than in Mwanza – a different rhythm, mainly in minor keys, almost a mournful, wailing tone.

There was much contact with local Anglicans who were vitally interested in the details of the Jerusalem GAFCON gathering and in the details of the Lambreth Conference. We talked long about the future of the Anglican Communion and possible steps that they could take as faithful Anglicans in a diocese where the bishop was not faithful.
I would be remiss if I did not pass on to all of you who have supported this ministry and this mission trip the profound thanks and grateful hearts of the people who have been served here. Everyplace I have been told – pass on to the ones who sent you here how grateful we are to them and how much we appreciate what they have done for us. What we have learned will be immediately used and will have a long lasting affect on our churches and our people. Thank you so much!
Thank you for your support. God and you make this possible. Please keep on supporting this mission. Please sustain this good ministry. It works! Let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord!
Fr Francis Wardega Office of Foreign Missions
Missionary Priest in Africa 18401 Canal Rd
E-mail: jambofrfrancis@yahoo.com USA-248-345-2651
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Tanzania 2008 – Dispatch 3

Proud members of Class #1, Nyakato School of Theology

Proud members of Class #1, Nyakato School of Theology

Dispatch 3 From Station Mwanza in Tanzania

Pastor Erasto puzzles about the deeper meaning of Ezekiel chapter 37.  Notice the copious notes that he has taken in his notebook.

Pastor Erasto puzzles about the deeper meaning of Ezekiel chapter 37. Notice the copious notes that he has taken in his notebook.

Summer 2008 Fr Francis Wardega

For many, mission ministry has a sort of exotic glamour to it. Such work includes large crowds, healing services, hospitals built, schools visited, and similar events. Such work is very good and very blessed. This ministry is different. We teach. We teach the teachers. We teach the preachers. We teach the leaders. We teach the ones who had no real prior opportunity to learn. There are many such people in Africa.

The bulk of the work is done daily. The schedule: teach 9 am to 7 pm. Teach ministry subjects to the depth that they are useful to the leaders of the parish. Do this every day, less an occasional rest day. The students quickly adapt to the schedule. They write down more notes than is needed. They listen and ask insightful questions. This is a two-week investment in a life that bears fruit in a parish for the next twenty to thirty years. Not glamorous – just effective.

This week, we finished up the class on Ordained Ministry and moved into Fundamentals of Sacred Scripture. Then we ended with Sacramental Theology. These eleven students are different. They have absorbed so much. They talk about different things. They have a whole new and deeper appreciation of the Bible and their personal Bible. Everyone preached once and was affirmed and critiqued. They want more. “Can you stay for three months?” Sorry. They were very proud to pose for their class picture.

As available, I go to local churches to meet the people there and celebrate the liturgy. Last Sunday, I visited St John in Nyamanoro. I preached in both Sunday liturgies. Each service had a 25 person choir, a different choir for each service. They worship with contemporary African worship music, choreographed. It is Motown gone Jesus! Such music keeps the young people in the Anglican Church instead of being attracted to other, more seeker friendly churches.

The work this trip will soon be finished in this diocese, until next year. Next on the schedule is a ten hour bus journey to Dodoma, the national capital in the center of the country where I will be working with Bishop Daudi Chidawali again. I will be teaching at his Bible College in Buigiri where I taught last year.

One unusual experience. I was invited to dine with Bishop Kwangu and a visiting bishop. As we sat and

Fr Francis preaches at St John Parish in Nyemanoro, Sunday Aug 17

Fr Francis preaches at St John Parish in Nyemanoro, Sunday Aug 17

talked, I realized that somehow, many red fire ants crawling on me. I tried to be a good guest as long as I could but the others noticed my discomfort. I ended up trying to stand still while two Anglican bishops and one bishop’s wife killed so many ants that were feasting on me! That was my lesson in humility that day.

Thank you for your support. God and you make this possible. Please keep on supporting this mission. Please sustain this good ministry. It works!

Fr Francis Wardega Office of Foreign Missions

Missionary Priest in Africa 18401 Canal Rd

www.connectionkenya.wordpress.com Clinton Twp MI 48038

Africa e-mail: jambofrfrancis@yahoo.com